Yesterday I put out all the Hairy Maclary books on the front windowsill. This display faces everyone who is walking fast toward the bakery. (Anyone walking away from the bakery faces the political biographies, dull by comparison).
Hairy Maclary catches people’s eyes. Hairy Maclary needs to be said out loud, or sung, or shouted.
‘Hairy Maclary….number six…see that?’
‘Hairy Maclary shoo!’
‘Hairy Maclary hat tricks!’
Some people are talking loudly about something else, and Hairy Maclary overrides their conservation.
‘She obviously had two accounts. It’s all very suspicious, and I don’t think Tic Tok can keep that. Hairy Maclary sit. Hah! Hah! See that?’
‘You’re learning about it…and we’re learning about it. We’re on the same ride together… aren’t we, buddy… Hairy Maclary’s Showbusiness…’
Inside the shop, children pull them down, read them and replace them gently. One child said ‘Scarface Door, Scarface Door’ as he walked around the shop.
A grandmother bought three of them. ‘Lovely’, she said.
A teenage boy stood outside the window wearing headphones and eating a pasty. He stared at all the Hairy Maclary books, nodding his head, eating, and nodding and nodding.
Inside, a lady asks me if I sell books for kiddies.
On the footpath a family walks past, and Hairy Maclary downloads himself right into their conversation.
‘Do you want to go to that rabbit place? Or do you want vegemite and toast? Quickly please. Hairy Maclary’s rumpus at the vet… we do need to get to the vet as well. Might go there first. Quickly now.’
Hairy Maclary books and illustrations by Lynley Dodd